Eight businesses have windows smashed
■ Mary Ann Morris / Editor
The city of Hemet declared a War on Crime in April and has begun to receive backlash from the criminals. While faith-based groups and Hemet Police Department are busy trying to take back Weston Park from the criminal element that has brazenly set up shop there, the criminal element is beginning to respond, by spraying more graffiti around town and smashing windows of local businesses.
Over the weekend at least eight businesses were hit by vandals who smashed in plate glass windows and doors throughout town. Hemet Police was first notified about the spree through a report that came in at 2:34 a.m. Sunday, June 4, regarding the McDonalds in the 1800 block of East Florida Avenue at Mayflower Street. Numerous windows were broken out of the McDonald’s.
“This type of senseless vandalism that targets our local, hardworking businesses is unacceptable,” said Hemet Deputy Police Chief Rob Webb. “We are hoping someone in the community comes forward and helps identify the suspects so they can be held accountable for their actions.”
While officers were investigating this report, multiple other reports of vandalism against other businesses began to flow into dispatch. Webb, in a release, said that five calls of vandalism at different businesses were reported within 20 minutes. While the vandalism spree seems to be connected to the same two suspects, there is no evidence either suspect entered any of the businesses.
A worker at O’Reilly Auto Parts on E. Florida Avenue said it would cost about $8,000 to replace the 10 windows (double pane) that were destroyed.
The first suspect is a black male adult, approximately 20 to 25 years old, 6’ to 6’5” tall, and weighing between 225 and 250 pounds, and wears eyeglasses. He was wearing blue jeans, a red, white, and blue baseball cap, was shirtless and used a shirt to cover his face.
The second suspect is a white male adult, no further details. The vehicle used in connection with these crimes is a red Honda sedan with black rims.
The following locations were vandalized: McDonald’s, 1855 E. Florida Ave; Shoe City, 101 W. Florida Ave; Planet Fitness Gym, 1390 E. Florida Ave; BBVA Bank, 4100 E. Florida Ave; Angel View Thrift Store, 304 S. Sanderson Ave; Bank of America, 1687 E Florida Ave; County of Riverside Courthouse, 880 N. State St; O’Reilly Auto Parts, 41675 E. Florida Ave.
The vandalism to Bank of America and the County of Riverside Courthouse were reported between 6:20 a.m. to 9:50 a.m., but officers believe the incidents occurred at approximately the same time as the other incidents.
This investigation is on-going. Please call Hemet Police Department at 951-765-2400 regarding these incidents. For in-progress acts of vandalism, please call 911. Now more than ever it is important that if you see something, say something.